Page 4, 16th March 1956

16th March 1956
Page 4
Page 4, 16th March 1956 — IN A FEW WORDS

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Locations: PARIS, London


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By Jotter



PRINTING the paper on the Continent one has the opportunity of seeing new faces and new places, and a .day or two in Paris proved a treasure trove for me when 1 visited the Dominican church of Saint-Severin for the first time. I would dearly love to see all critics of the spiritual effects of liturgical experiments drop into this church which is almost next door to Notre Dame. It was a week-day morning when I entered the church. The centre of the large and ancient gothic building, that looks like a forest of stone, was filled with men. women and many young people.


THEY were massed round the altar — or rather the sacrificial table with the linen cloths on it and the crucifix. The old high altar has been entirely removed. Attentive to the T'lass and participating in it at every opportunity, even at such odd ones as answering "Amen " to the celebrant's prayers during the Canon, the people heard every single word of the Mass through a microphone. A reader by the altar gave the changing parts of the Mass in French while the priest read them to himself in Latin. With few exceptions on this week-day the whole congregation formed itself into the two by two Communion procession to receive the Blessed Sacrament standing, two priests being necessary for the distribution.


CRITICS will be refreshed by the thought that in all this there was no question of a vernacular Mass. except for the lay reader's reading of the changing parts. The fact that every word of the Latin was heard through the amplifier, including the words of consecration, obviously enabled an intelligent participation on the part of the French congregation. I myself was struck .by the logic of the people's " Amen " to the " per

omnia saccula saeculorum " after the " omnis honor et gloria. " Then the starting of the " Oremus " before the "Pater Noster " as something entirely separate.

MASS INTENTIONS LEAVING the church. I noticed

the great book in which people write their intentions for public reading at the Sunday Masses. Like, I imagine, many other visitors from this country, I at once entered the intention : " For the Conversion of England." On Sunday I went to the far more conservative Saint-Vincent de Paul, near the Gare du Nord. Mass there too was " facing the people, " and the congregation included many young men. On leaving I noticed a slight difference in the Communion regulations : Apparently with a priest's permission anyone who wishes to communicate at a late Mass can take advantage of the new fasting regulations and take liquid nourishment.

STONYHURST MEMORIES Avery different experience in Paris was afforded by a visit to the Sarah-Bernhardt theatre for the magnificent staging of the new " Cyrano de Bergerac. " Rostand's play was a passion for some of us at Stonyhuret years ago, and I then knew it almost by heart. I have seen it played in London, but with all the glory of the French lost. And now nearly forty years later T was seeing this superb, modernised presentation with Pierre Dux extracting the utter sadness of the Cyrano part. How deep go the memories of romantic youth! As the play, with its challenge, its savage mockery of the conventional and the second best, its heroics, its famous balcony scene and, above all, the gentle pathos of the last act in the convent garden, moved along in colourful scenery, brilliant costumes, the innovations of shadows of duels and defeats against a screen, seemed to remember and await every speech until the final unforgettable lines : Dui, veils m'errachez tout, le !hurler et in rose Arrsteher. II y a inalgre vous quelque chose Que j'emporte. et re solr, quand rentrerals chez Dieu,

Mon saint balaiera largentent ! le magi bleu, Quelque chose que sans un sans une taehe.

dreinporte nutlgre vous, et &est, e'eat mon panache.

It is worth using the years of school to imbibe deep of romantic poetry. One day it may pay a dividend like this.


With praiseworthy speed, the Abbey of St. Andr8 in Belgium has put on the English market the New Liturgy of the Holy Weeks in accordance with the Decree of last November. It is very clearly printed and even adorned with dignified black and white illustrations, strongly bound in paper and handy to carry. I imagine it is or will be on sale in our bookshops and I expect many parish priests will endeavour to obtain copies for sale in their church.

Burns and Oates have also produced a full "Holy Week manual" in accordance with the new decree which can be obtained more cheaply if ordered in bulk by the clergy.

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